Theologian voted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Fr. Charles E. Curran, a moral theologian and ethicist who teaches at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the academy announced April 19.

Curran is a priest of the Rochester, N.Y., diocese and is the Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at Southern Methodist University, where he has taught since 1991. He will be inducted at an Oct. 9 ceremony at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

“Curran is certainly one of the leading teachers and scholars in Christian ethics in North America,” said Robin Lovin, former theology school dean at Southern Methodist University. “Through his many books and his work as a teacher, he has made a whole generation of Protestants more aware of Catholic moral traditions, and he has introduced Catholic scholars to a more ecumenical approach.”

He has served as president of three national academic associations: the American Theological Society, Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Society of Christian Ethics. He has authored and edited more than 50 books in the area of moral theology.

Curran’s latest book, Catholic Moral Theology in the United States: A History, won the 2008 American Publisher’s Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in Theology and Religion.

Also in the 2010 class are John DeGioia, president of Jesuit-run Georgetown University in Washington; University of Notre Dame President Holy Cross Fr. John I. Jenkins and faculty members Scott P. Mainwaring, a professor of political science, and R. Scott Appleby, director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; and theologian Harvey Cox of Harvard Divinity School.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, was elected a Foreign Honorary Member.

Since its founding in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th.

The 2010 class includes 229 leaders in the sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sector. The current membership of the Academy includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

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